Malaysian field hospital in Cox’s Bazar ceases operations after mission accomplished

Refugees are seen at the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh, near Rakhine state, Myanmar, during a trip by United Nations envoys to the region April 29, 2018. Mindef today said the drop of cases in the camp’s area was more stable now and the Rohingya refugees’ health improving, as chronic diseases had been treated and many surgeries were successfully carried out. — Reuters pic
Refugees are seen at the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh, near Rakhine state, Myanmar, during a trip by United Nations envoys to the region April 29, 2018. Mindef today said the drop of cases in the camp’s area was more stable now and the Rohingya refugees’ health improving, as chronic diseases had been treated and many surgeries were successfully carried out. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 — The Malaysian field hospital in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, has ceased its operations in March this year, much earlier than its initial end date of December 2021, as the main mission of its establishment to help the Rohingya refugees has been successfully accomplished.

In a statement today, the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said the cessation of the operations, however, did not affect Malaysia and Bangladesh bilateral relationship, as well as the country’s image.

“Since the operations commenced in November 2017 until March 2020, the Malaysian Field Hospital had attended to a total of 108,038 patients and carried out more than 3,500 surgeries including over 900 high-risk surgeries.

“The monthly number of patients had also reached as high as 8,763, which was recorded in November 2018. However, the monthly number of patients receiving treatment had also been declining to only 1,690 in February this year,” according to the statement.

Bernama previously reported Chief of Defence Force Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang saying that the operations of the Malaysian Field Hospital in Cox’s Bazar were ended earlier following several factors, including the spread of Covid-19 in Bangladesh, a significant drop in the number of disease cases and emergency injuries, as well as the increase of other field hospitals operating in the refugee camp.

Affendi also said its operations were recognised by the World Health Organisation as the best Level 3 Field Hospital in Cox’s Bazar, and it had also become the centre of reference for other hospitals there.

Mindef’s statement also said that the drop of cases in the camp’s area was more stable now and the Rohingya refugees’ health improving, as chronic diseases had been treated and many surgeries were successfully carried out.

There were also six additional field hospitals in the refugee’s camp, such as the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), HOPE Foundation, MSF Spain, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society and Friendship, which provided more options and access to health service to the Rohingyans and the locals, thus reducing their dependence on the Malaysian Field Hospital.

The ministry also explained that the return of Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) medical personnel had also enabled full operations of military hospitals nationwide as they could be mobilised as part of the government’s effort to flatten the curve of Covid-19 infection in the country. — Bernama

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